The Adventures of Brother LeClerc

His life was forever changed because of a rainy day.

As a teenager in Quebec, Canada, Bro. Valmond LeClerc, OMI, was hoping one day to spend some time outside with his friends. But it began to rain, so he went to the library instead.

At the library Bro. LeClerc came across a book about the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and their work with the Eskimos in the Arctic. He couldn’t put the book down.

“The adventures in that book called me,” said Bro. LeClerc. “Thank God for the rain. If it had been sunny that day, I never would have become an Oblate.” Brother LeClerc attended a seminary in the United States and made Final Vows as a brother in 1957. Ironically, his adventures as a missionary never took him north to the Eskimos.

Instead, much of Bro. LeClerc’s missionary work was spent in Latin America. His adventures took him to Chile, Peru, Puerto Rico and Colombia. For many years he held administrative responsibilities for Missionary Oblates-run high schools to help young people escape poverty through education. He lived in numerous barrios among the poorest of the poor.

After that, Bro. LeClerc ministered in Lowell, Massachusetts, for 15 years. His gift for language—he speaks fluent French and Spanish, as well as English—was put to good use at parishes serving large immigrant populations.

Finally, in 2009 Bro. LeClerc’s adventures took him to Madonna House, a home for elder and infirmed Missionary Oblates in San Antonio, Texas. Today, at the age of 90, he considers himself blessed to live with his brother Oblates in a community filled with an abundance of faith and love.

Brother LeClerc says Madonna House provides a good balance of privacy and community life. There is no other place he would want to spend his retirement.

While living at Madonna House may not be as adventurous as ministering throughout South America, Bro. LeClerc says he is able to find pleasure in the simple things in life — attending daily Mass, corresponding with friends and playing dominos, which he considers “sacred time.”

And Bro. LeClerc continues to remind people to take advantage of rainy days, because it just might change your life. It did for him.